Nothing is cozier on a winter evening than a crackling fire. There are even apps that create the sensation for those unable or unwilling to build a fire themselves. However, a winter campfire is completely different from fire building in other seasons. Here are a few tips and gadgets for making your winter outdoor campfire a flaming success.
Wood tends to be and remain damper during the winter. If you haven’t brought wood with you, collect kindling, small branches, and logs first. A solid multi tool (like the Leatherman Wave) or versatile axe (like the Off Grid Tools Survival Axe Multi Tool) comes in handy for splitting logs, which helps them dry faster. Keep all the wood off the ground to encourage circulation and quick drying. Make tinder using a pencil sharpener on small sticks. If you want a slower, hotter fire, especially for cooking, dig a trench down into the dirt and build your fire in the log cabin style, instead of the teepee style.
From waterproof matches (UCO Gear Titan Stormproof Match Kit) and fire starters (homemade with wax, wick, and egg crates or pre-made ones from locally-based fire starter company Mickwick all natural fire starters) to quick and compact torches and lighters (Soto Outdoors Pocket Torch or a simple Zippo lighter), it’s an easy task these days to light a fire, even in winter. Light your fire from tinder placed at the bottom, and the flames will rise quickly. Finally, if you anticipate deep snow where you’re having your fire and don’t want to dig out a huge pit, bring your campfire with you. The Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit, tagged “The Fire Pit of the Future,” is portable, lightweight, smokeless, and easy to use.